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Mechanical zero

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2011 at 19:41
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So, I've got nothing better to do on a Friday night then to count the number of windage & elevation clicks on a scope and post on Opticstalk.Sad Married with children, gotta love it.
 
Anyhow, I physically set the mechanical zero on a scope I'm going to mount tomorrow by counting the total number of windage & elevation clicks, divided by two and well, you know. After I set the mechanical zero by using this method, the crosshairs should line up when I look through the scope into a mirror correct? Well they didn't, they were WAY off.
 
I thought looking into a mirror and aligning the two crosshairs to one another set the mechanical zero also?  
 
Which method do you use to set the mechanical zero of a scope, the mirror or click counting?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2011 at 21:47
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Never heard of the mirror method, but yes the mechanical zero is half way through your clicks (the mechanical method of moving your crosshairs).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2011 at 22:48
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Yes, I use both methods and counting the clicks is much faster and works the same
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2011 at 02:31
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Looking in the mirror stuff will center the crosshairs in your objective lens. The mirror reflects back precisely inversely.
 
This would not necceseraly mean you are mechanically zeroed, as the housing could be off center or whatever.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2011 at 07:49
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Originally posted by 8shots 8shots wrote:

Looking in the mirror stuff will center the crosshairs in your objective lens. The mirror reflects back precisely inversely.
 
This would not necceseraly mean you are mechanically zeroed, as the housing could be off center or whatever.
 
Understood, thanks.
 
What would be the preferred choice here; mechanical zero or centering the crosshairs in the objective lens?
 
ETA: I ASSMUME it would be mechanical zero.


Edited by Stud Duck - September/24/2011 at 07:50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2011 at 07:55
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I've always just done the mechanical counting. However, I'm likely not the sharpest crayon in the box when it comes to this stuff.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2011 at 08:11
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The  "mirror method" is not a precise mechanical zero.  Physically counting clicks and adjusting to half the total number is a mechanical zero.  It is the place to start for zeroing your scope/rifle.  Mechanical zero is normally performed before the scope is mounted on the rifle.  Once I mechanically zero the scope, mount it on the rifle, I boresight and see if there are any mount adjustments I can make that will more closely align mechanical zero to mount alignment.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2011 at 11:16
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The mirror trick is definitely subject to the exterior dimensions of the objective bell.

Counting clicks doesn't work with every design. Some scopes will "click" even when they're not adjusting any further and are bottomed out.

US Optics recommends putting the scope in a v notch, setting the reticle on a distant target, and rotating the scope. If the crosshair traverses a circular path, it's not mechanically centered. If it stays centered on the target, it's mechanically centered.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2011 at 12:37
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Originally posted by Poodleshooter1 Poodleshooter1 wrote:

The mirror trick is definitely subject to the exterior dimensions of the objective bell.

Counting clicks doesn't work with every design. Some scopes will "click" even when they're not adjusting any further and are bottomed out.

US Optics recommends putting the scope in a v notch, setting the reticle on a distant target, and rotating the scope. If the crosshair traverses a circular path, it's not mechanically centered. If it stays centered on the target, it's mechanically centered.
 
There are only 10 rules I know of that are incontrovertible... the 10 Commandments.  When I count clicks, I generally do it 4 times in both directions.  If I get a different count, I start over.  It works for me.  I've found my mechanical zeroes to be quite true.  While there may be scopes that continue to "click" after the endpoints, generally that is not the case.  I can only remember one, long ago, and don't remember what kind it was.  Most modern scopes have a well defined set of endpoints and continuing to "twist the knobs" causes damage of varying degrees.  I currently own 13 different "brands" of scopes and some different configurations/models of some of those.  None continue to click past the endpoints... unless more than recommended torque were to be applied. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2011 at 13:04
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The US Optics method is the best- you are really optically centering the scope with this method and assuming the  mechanicals are good that puts the erector in the center of the tube and from there you should have the same amount of elevation and windage travel give or take a few tenths of a mil if the scope is of a quality contruct.
Thanks,
Paul
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2011 at 14:25
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Let's say I had a scope I wanted to zero @ 300 yards. To hit dead center @ 100 yards I'd have to come down 1.2 mils (the max come-down in my entire trajectory chart). So wouldn't it make more sense to top out the scope, come down 1.2 mils (plus a couple tenths for "padding") and then make sure my mount is centering the crosshairs @ 100 yards? That would give you the maximum amount of elevation.

BTW, this is hypothetical to me because I only buy quality scopes with enough elevation on a 20 MOA base to do what I want with a .308. But I know there are some hard-chargers that like to take their .22s out to 500-600 yards.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2011 at 17:54
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Originally posted by Plange Plange wrote:

The US Optics method is the best- you are really optically centering the scope with this method and assuming the  mechanicals are good that puts the erector in the center of the tube and from there you should have the same amount of elevation and windage travel give or take a few tenths of a mil if the scope is of a quality contruct.
Thanks,
Paul

It's not like US Optics invented the method, they promote it, and it is quite useful for a company that doesn't want to continually repair scopes damaged by heavy handed "knob twisters".  It's not bad, but it does have some flaws...
It will NOT tell you exactly how many "clicks" you have to work with (for long range shooters a VERY useful thing to know)... counting clicks WILL,
In the Plange post above the "US Optics method" is rated as being accurate to within a "few tenths of a mil (+- .2mil, I think I remember its accuracy, in a good scope).  Your "spread" is not worse than that with a good scope(as promoted in the above post)and counting clicks.  
It is still subjective to the individual's ability to perceive accurate alignment of the reticle...

It is true that counting clicks involves more time (you'd think I would prefer the "US Optics method" given my patience quotient) and a better "feel" for the mechanics of a scope lest you crush the erector, however, counting clicks is quite useful, accurate, and has been used successfully for MANY years.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2011 at 17:55
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